Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yoga and Meditation

For the past two months I have been doing Yoga and Meditation- that was more than four months ago. Since then, I have, as my patients would say- "fallen off the wagon". I did notice I have gained about 10 lbs. Lack of mindfulness- I am chalk my weight gain to. So, I have starting walking/ running 2-3 times a day, re-started yoga, cooking more often, eating more vegetarian food. I have become leaner, but I have miles to think I was 120 lbs once...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What is wrong with health care?

I have tried very hard not to talk about this- because it always gets me sad and annoyed- but I feel I have to. I was working today-on a Saturday, which is never good (I am a primary care doc- and usually quite proud of it)-everytime I see a patient who,usually has multiple medical problems and is struggling to make this complicated healthcare system work- I think to myself-there has to be better way!
My patients ask my about copays for meds-I am never sure.Charges for blood draws- I do not know. Why is medicine a profit making institution? There has to be a simpler way.Day in and day out,I see people struggle with costs for their health care and I am sure it adds to considerably to their stress. Nothing about the financial aspect of healthcare is transparent.I wish it was'nt so...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A day off

I had to take my son to the pediatrician's this morning- nothing urgent-just a well child exam, one shot, height and weight. But, going to the doctor's means waiting and waiting....not really sure why. So, the appointment was at 9:30 am, by the time we left, it was 11am. Anyways, luckily I had asked for a day off, so now I am sitting in the local library, typing this and feeling reasonably happy. Time to myself- wonderful.
Work remains to be done at home- more dishes, picking up toys, clothes and getting rid of junkmail- but for now I am left to my own devices. Glorious day.
I should do real work but I do not want to- I want to laze around and do whatever I want to in the next couple hours until I have to pick up my children.
What has really been bothering me is how much housework I have to do in comparison to my husband- life is really unfair- I should have clarified all this before I got hitched. Too late now, after two kids, though- we will just have to plod through, the best we can.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

making a paycheck

Back in the workforce-hence, the silence.
It takes some getting used to- I am feeling extremely rushed- drop off the kids- rush to work, hurry from work, pick them up, rustle up some dinner, hopefully healthy, bedtime approaches, make sure the kids get their baths, everything is set up for the next day- lunches and swim trunks and towels, and it begins anew the next day.
what I find really amazing and am rather indignant about is the asymmetry of responsibility. I am going to see if I can do something about it- maybe dear husband can do the drop-off.
Most women go through exactly the same scenario. I feel able to handle it but I wish I had more support.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How to juggle or .....not

Now that I am ready to enter the workforce, I have started to worry anew about humdrum things like dinner, laundry and housework. How do women do it all? Will I have time to read? On reading- I read a book called The Seventeen Traditions by Ralph Nader who I admire greatly as a consumer advocate. It was an easy read with a view on how a family could be raised. The times were simpler then, but I am sure I can learn a lot from his writing. While on Ralph Nader, a long time ago I saw a PBS film on him, very tellingly called, An Unreasonable Man. In this the election year, it is worthwhile to remember how much his activism has benefited us.
Also, enjoying my last few days of unpaid labor, this afternoon I saw a wonderful documentary called "The First Year" which is about the first year of five teachers in California. I am so in awe of teachers- the great ones leave such a mark on you. They change your life in so many ways and inspire you to be more than what you thought you could be.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A new beginning

So, I am probably going to go back to work next Monday, which is a fact that is alternately exciting and worrying me. The young kid starts daycare- which is always scary. Last Friday, we tried leaving him at the Y for date night- that did not go down too well- two hours later we got an apologetic phonecall- your kid has been shrieking the whole time, please pick him up. Not a good omen in my book. Well, he will have to get used to it- he will have a better parent for later.
I am especially excited about having a schedule to follow, my own time and my own money..yippee.
Will post later on how things go. It will be interesting- have not had paid work in over six months now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Children of the universe

There have been so many interesting things happening with the Mars mission. Everytime my own life gets a little out of control, I like to indulge in a little astronomy- to get my perspective right and to think of all of us as made of the same stardust. Check this out
The earth seems so vulnerable...I wish we took better care.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Being Indian

I am very aware of where I am from and I am sure it informs almost everything I do. One of those things which always makes me upset is the way we treat women in India and more specifically, the abominable attitude towards the girl child.
Another news story about this

children's literature and songs

One of the better things about being a parent is the renewed exposure to children's books and music- although it still does not compensate for sleepless nights, limited time, no more movie nights, no shopping in peace, career harakiri- the list goes on and on, and I am sure you get my drift.
I am going to list my fave kid's books and songs- feel free to send me your top picks
-Most of Dr Seuss's books
-Folk songs
-Raffi songs
-Rhonda Vincent especially Bananaphone
-Books by Mo Willems
-songs by Keb Mo
-songs by Taj Mahal
As a rule of thumb, I will only play those songs that I can tolerate at least ten re-iterations of- thats how long I will have to listen to it before I lose the CD. I try not to borrow a book that I do not care for- although, it seems I am constantly reading books about stinky trash trucks and other means of tramsportation. I am sure at some point in time I wll get nostalgic about this as well.

Summer solstice

First day of summer here- in the middle of a heatwave here- but nothing a Kolkata girl can't handle.
Tried looking out for the moon on the 18th- was told it would be a really impressive moonrise- the kids and the location was wrong, so no magnificent moonrise for me. However, check out this link for a wonderful view
A bit of trivia- this structure has some interesting graffiti- Lord Byron has carved his name on one of the columns.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Worry, worry, worry...

As I get ready to join the workforce- after a hiatus of five months- here comes this article about the problems of primary care in the US
The discontent here is real and in my view is a reflection of the fractured system and the fact that it is, mostly, run like a profit making enterprise. Health is not a commodity.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Got to watching food network- again! And this guy Zimmern- who goes about eating some rather bizzare stuff (I think the series is called Bizzare Foods) ends up in Delhi. This episode makes me so nostalgic for some diarrhea inducing pani-puris, some greasy awfully good moghlai dishes, authentic paneer palak and other choice Indian dishes. He even tried some 'mocha' and some banana trunk curry- when will I eat this stuff again.
I cannot believe this sudden hankering- this from a person who cooks very eclectically and rarely something completly Indian. For me, dinner needs to be fixed up in fifteen minutes flat- and very few dishes in Indian cuisine would qualify.
Anyway, here is wishing for some delicious street food soon......

Monday, April 21, 2008

climate change and what we can do about it

Its really quite essential that we look at our carbon footprint and make our stay on earth as limited in its impact as possible. We, at home, talk about this a lot and it probably bores my five year old a lot; but it is really important to me that I teach him conservation.
To this end this was such an interesting article in the NYT today

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Job hunt- looking for a job that allows for a family

I moved recently and now have been looking for a job. My husband's advice is- never, ever mention your family in the interview. That is difficult when you are tied to your daycare schedule.I love what I do- I think Medicine for all its problems gives you an interesting, intense life. You usually get to the nub of a persons existence very quickly, but it is generally assumed that you do have much of a personal life and children are dependents that need constant attention and time.
But one needs to work- for money, for self-fulfillment and identity- so I applied for jobs- permanent and locum and tried to maintain an enthusiastic demeanor. If employers wanted me then all they needed was a warm body to do the job and if they did not want me- it was because I am such a loser. As you can see, there are deep issues here. Anyway, I will be working soon- and full-time, too. I am sure I will talk about how all that is working out and how it affects my family and other animals, like me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Women in Medicine

There has been a bit of a storm in a teacup across the pond- concern regarding too many women in Medicine causing staffing issues as women have children!). Lovely, anything that can be held against women usually is. It is difficult to be a physician and add to that the complications of being a mother- but last I checked we- men and women-belonged to the same species. Rather than changing with the times and getting semi-used to the idea of being equal parents and caring for their kids, some men would rather hold women responsible all the housework, childcare and everything that is not going too well in Medicine.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dual Income- Double trouble?

We are- like a lot of families we know- usually a dual income family. Having spent a few months last year, after the birth of a new baby, as a stay-at-home mom, I have realized-what I long suspected anyway- that I am a terrible housewife. I am a half decent mother- although I do lose my temper ever so often and I cook nutritious food- although there always seem to be dishes in the sink. Generally speaking, there is always a load of clothes in the drier waiting to be folded- for at least a couple days, if not longer.
I am caught between the quagmire of housework and childcare. A friend talked about housework being like groundhog day- I see what she means. I do not get anytime to enjoy the culmination of my labors, there is always something more.... So, I sit on my couch when my kids are napping finally, get me a cup of tea and read a book- which occasionally happens to be on home organization- much to my dear husbands amusement.
Anyway, I thought I would add a link to this article in the NYT today which expresses what I will be soon feeling- relief at having a paying job but also additional consequences to weigh.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New town, new anxieties

Just moved, with two kids, endless useless stuff, downsized to a smaller home, left job and started looking for a new job in this new town. Is that a recipe for stress, angst and terror or what...
Add to that an infant with poor sleeping habits, with a great set of lungs and a natural sloppiness that permeates my life.
This is of course a whiny sad post, just to express how sad and malfunctioning my life is. And just shows what a pathetic person I am to get daunted by all this. I know people go through so much and still remain gracious and kind and I am breaking apart.
But just writing all this makes me get it out of my system- I feel stronger already- better able to cope with all the things that will come my way. Thanks.